Importing Your Vendor Listing into QuickBooks

  • QuickBooks lets you easily import suppliers and vendors in bulk from other sources.
  • You can transfer vendor data to and from bookkeeping software, Excel files, and elsewhere.
  • Make sure you've gathered all relevant vendor details, such as their name, employer identification number, and rates.
  • This article is for small business owners and bookkeepers just starting out with QuickBooks to manage finances.

QuickBooks has powerful features that make it easy for business owners, or their accountants or bookkeepers, to handle all aspects of business accounting. With QuickBooks' integrated vendor management function, you can easily track vendors, payables, and other relevant details.

While you can set up vendors manually in QuickBooks, it's very easy to bulk import existing vendor data. This guide will show you how to import vendor information from Excel and CSV files into the QuickBooks you are using, including QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Pro.

TipTip: If you have more complex finance and accounting needs, consider the features of QuickBooks Online Advanced, which include smart reporting and the ability to enter invoice transactions from a CSV file.

Adding Sellers to QuickBooks Online

If you're using the cloud-based QuickBooks Online application, which can be accessed from a web browser, it's easy to add and import vendors.

With all of your vendor information in QuickBooks Online, you'll save time when entering bills and transactions. Instead of entering details manually, you'll select a vendor from a drop-down list that already has several fields filled in. It's also easy to track expenses through accounting reports, providing managers and business owners with important insights.

QuickBooks Online Vendor Setup Checklist

Whether you are entering vendors manually or importing them, gathering important information about your vendors is essential.

It's easy to collect information in a CSV file or Excel spreadsheet. If you are using another accounting software program to manage your suppliers, you can easily transfer the details to QuickBooks.

You should have the following information for all of your vendors:

  • company's name
  • email address
  • phone number
  • contact name
  • employer Identification Number
  • Amount outstanding before importing into QuickBooks
  • rate paid to seller
  • rate charged to customers for services

Bulk Import vs. Manual Vendor Setup in QuickBooks Online

If you only have a few vendors to add to QuickBooks Online, it makes sense to enter them manually. It works like this:

  1. Choose Expenditure , new seller.
  2. In vendor centerChoose new seller.
  3. Fill in your vendor information and select save when you're done.
  4. You can edit the details anytime by selecting the seller and then selecting Edit.

If you have more than a few vendors, it's very easy to import them into QuickBooks Online by using an existing vendor list in Excel or other bookkeeping software.

did you know?did you know? QuickBooks also has powerful payroll and time and attendance tools for small businesses. Read our QuickBooks Payroll review and QuickBooks Time review for more information.

Import Vendors into QuickBooks Online Using a CSV or Excel File

There are a few steps to import your vendor data into QuickBooks Online via a CSV or Excel file. You must prepare your spreadsheet and then begin and complete the import into QuickBooks Online.

Step 1: Prepare the spreadsheet.

Each spreadsheet column corresponds to the field you want to import into QuickBooks Online, and each row contains details about an individual vendor.

QuickBooks allows you to import the following fields, but you don't have to have data for each field:

  • company's name
  • contact name
  • phone number
  • email address
  • mobile number
  • Website
  • fax number
  • Street address
  • city
  • Pin Code
  • State
  • Country
  • tax identification number
  • opening balance
  • balance opening date

Your spreadsheet should have labels for each column in the first row. However, these label names do not have to be the same as the field names in QuickBooks Online. The import process gives you the opportunity to map each column in the vendor list to a separate field. Avoid columns for fields you don't want populated.

The vendor information spreadsheet should be on the first Workbook tab in Excel. QuickBooks Online will only consider the first tab.

TipTip: If QuickBooks isn't right for your business, consider some feature-rich and affordable QuickBooks alternatives. Read our review of Xero, our Sage review, and our Zoho Books review to learn more.

Step 2: Import the file into QuickBooks Online.

  1. Launch QuickBooks Online and select Expenditure , sellers.
  2. In vendor center, go to new seller drop-down arrow and select import seller.
  3. in the labeled box Choose CSV or Excel File to UploadChoose Browse.
  4. Navigate to your csv or excel file and click open.

  1. Choose next To continue.
  2. Feather map data Map your fields from the imported file to QuickBooks Online Fields. The software automatically selects if your column headers match the fields in QuickBooks Online. These are just suggestions; You can always make changes.
  3. It's fine if your imported sheet has extra headers, and you don't need to match for all vendor columns in the software. Choose no match If you don't have a match. Choose next When you are ready to continue.

  1. Review your data. Confirm that the number of imported records is equal to the number of rows in your spreadsheet excluding the header row. If you see any problems, fix them here or select Back To make any necessary mapping changes. Deselect any records that you do not want to import.
  2. When you're satisfied, choose Import To move forward.

  1. When the import is complete, you will see a message about the vendors that you imported successfully. Your vendors are now available in the Seller Center of QuickBooks Online.

TipTip: Read our full review of QuickBooks Online accounting software to learn more about the powerful features of this cloud-based tool.

How to Import Vendors into QuickBooks Pro

It's also quick and easy to import your vendors into QuickBooks Pro, the QuickBooks accounting desktop application.

Like QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Pro lets you import a spreadsheet CSV to add supplier details manually or add vendors in bulk.

Here's how to import vendors from an Excel spreadsheet into QuickBooks Pro.

Step 1: Select your vendors.

  1. Launch QuickBooks Pro and select vendors To go on Vendor Center.
  2. Choose excel , Import from Excel.
  3. under Select the type of data you want to add to QuickBooks, Choose sellers.
  4. You will be taken to a screen with a formatted Excel sheet. If you are using an Excel file in the same format as the QuickBooks Pro Vendor Import Template, skip this step.
  5. Choose advanced import to complete your imports.
  6. You will see a pop-up warning that you cannot undo an import. Click Yes To continue.

Step 2: Get your vendor data.

Copy the data from your Excel vendor file into the QuickBooks template. Your Excel data is on the right, and the QuickBooks template is on the left. Hovering over the cell displays instructions for what type of data you should add. Above the column headers, you'll see cell-formatting examples.

QuickBooks lets you add the following vendor information:

  • company's name
  • first name
  • last name
  • Street address
  • city
  • State
  • Pin Code
  • Country
  • phone number
  • Alternate Number
  • fax number
  • Account Number
  • email address

Step 3: Resolve any errors.

When your file is ready to be imported, you will have the opportunity to check for and fix errors. If the program finds a problem, you'll see a message in the error box in the top left and a red warning triangle in the corner of the affected cell. If there is an error, QuickBooks will explain it and tell you how to fix it.

Step 4: Save your changes.

  1. After verifying that everything is correct, select add my data now To fill in the vendor information in QuickBooks Pro.
  2. You will see an error message warning that you have not saved your changes yet. Choose Save and add data now.
  3. Save the file on your computer. You should automatically see the file name in the box. If not, select browse and select the file.

Step 5: Import the file.

  1. Choose Add my data now. You will see a screen with all your successfully completed steps along with the number of records you have added to your seller list.
  2. Your vendor import is complete. Visit the Seller Center to view your seller list.

How to Delete a Vendor in QuickBooks

You may want to remove a seller at some point. However, if you have already used vendor details in a transaction, you cannot delete the vendor from QuickBooks. However, you can make the supplier inactive so that you can't see it in the vendor center.

To deactivate a seller:

  1. Navigate to the Seller Center.
  2. Find the seller you want to deactivate.
  3. Select the drop-down menu and select make it inactive
  4. Choose Yes to confirm.
  5. If you're trying to deactivate a supplier with dues, QuickBooks will warn you. to select No And record the amount owed before deactivating the seller.

How to Export Invoices from QuickBooks

  • Exporting invoices from QuickBooks to an application like Excel can be a plus for small businesses.
  • It's efficient and you're likely to get paid more quickly.
  • It's less expensive and includes design options and features like invoice tracking.
  • This makes record keeping easy.
  • This article is for business owners and professionals who want to learn how to export invoices from QuickBooks accounting software.

QuickBooks has been a leader in the accounting software industry for decades. Small business owners and accountants love its ability to maintain easy record keeping, generate reports, and generate and send invoices. It's no surprise that we chose it as one of the best invoicing platforms in our QuickBooks review — it's the accounting software of choice for the vast majority of small business owners.

We'll share some of the reasons why you might want to export invoices from QuickBooks and how to export invoices to Microsoft Excel from both QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop. Whether you have a personal or business version of Microsoft 365, exporting invoices from QuickBooks to Excel should be seamless.

Reasons to Invoice in QuickBooks

QuickBooks Invoices are useful for small business owners for the following reasons:

  • Invoicing is easy to track. Since QuickBooks automatically generates invoices and integrates them into your recordkeeping, you'll be able to keep track of outstanding invoices and record your up-to-date accounts receivable balances. QuickBooks will not delete your invoices unless you prompt it to do so.
  • It is efficient. With instant payment options via email delivery and integrated credit card and debit card functionality, you're likely to receive payment faster if you mail an invoice.
  • Online invoicing is less expensive. There is less paperwork, manual data entry, and room for error when you primarily complete invoicing and payments online.

did you know?did you know? About 75% of small business owners choose QuickBooks as the best accounting software. If you're trying to choose the accounting software that works for you, read our guide.

Storing Your Invoices in QuickBooks

An invoice is not only used to collect payment from a customer or customer, it is also a sales receipt that shows the date of purchase, the payer and recipient, product ID, the total amount of products or services, and proof about the due date. provides. , As a business owner, you must store both the invoices you generate and receive. This ensures best recordkeeping, especially since receipts must be stored for at least three years for tax purposes.

Keeping your accounts receivable up-to-date requires storing the invoices you send to customers and clients. Accounts receivable is what customers owe you; It is created when you send an invoice to a client or clients. Managing cash flows, especially cash inflows collected from accounts receivable, helps you track and forecast your cash surpluses and losses throughout the accounting period. [Read related article: What Is Accounting?]

Archiving invoices allows you to record outstanding invoices that are current (usually within a 30-day payment window), and outstanding invoices that are outstanding (typically 30 to 90 days before due), and here Even on outstanding invoices which are likely to not be collected (usually 90 days before due).

Exporting Invoices from QuickBooks

Although you can store all of your created invoices in QuickBooks, sometimes exporting invoices to a program like Microsoft Excel is better for sorting and sharing your invoices. Spreadsheet applications such as Microsoft Excel allow many features that are not currently embedded or accessible in QuickBooks.

Business owners and accountants export invoices from QuickBooks to other programs such as Microsoft Excel for the following reasons:

  • Invoices can be reformatted and redesigned to display specific company information.
  • Multiple users need access to the invoice, and they don't have access to the QuickBooks system.
  • These invoices can be easily saved, printed or emailed to customers and clients.
  • Sorting and organizing tasks in Excel helps manage bookkeeping records, and recording outstanding invoices keeps accounts receivable data up to date.
  • Advanced Excel features like PivotTables and VLOOKUP allow you to organize data for access and purposeful analysis.

How to Export Invoices from QuickBooks Online

Exporting invoices from QuickBooks Online to Excel doesn't have to be a lengthy process. You may want to export the invoice to Excel to sort the information based on the customer, product ID, transaction amount, or other information reported on the invoice. If your business generates a lot of invoices every month, quarter, or year, learning to use PivotTables and VLookups in Excel will keep your data efficient.

The information below outlines the steps for exporting an invoice from QuickBooks Online to Microsoft Excel. Invoices and the data contained in the invoice will remain stored in QuickBooks Online after you export them.

1. Under the list of tasks, click Reports.

2. In the text box, start keying in “Invoice List” and press Enter.

As shown below, QuickBooks Online will automatically populate “Invoice List” as you type.

Here, you will see a list of all your invoices reported through specific dates.

3. If you want to change the report, such as a range of dates, or filter the reporting, press Customize.

TipTip: Filter your dates by your accounting period to stay consistent with your reports.

4. Once you have customized the report, hit the Export Function dropdown and click on Export to Excel.

You will now be able to access your invoices and data in Excel.

How to Export Invoices from QuickBooks Pro

Exporting invoices from QuickBooks Pro is as simple as in QuickBooks Online. Follow these steps to export archived invoices to Microsoft Excel:

  1. In QuickBooks Desktop, click Reports.
  2. Key in the “Invoice List” text box and press Enter.
  3. Under “Report Duration,” filter by date, then select Run Report.
  4. Select the Export button and click Export to Excel.

TipFYI: You can follow the same steps above and export to CSV file or PDF.

After these four steps, you will be able to view your invoices in Excel. From there, some of the initial tasks Excel allows include sorting invoices by quantity, vendor, product ID, and date. Advanced Excel features include PivotTables and VLOOKUP functions.

American 401k Review 2022 | Best Employee Retirement Plans

American 401k Editor's Score: 91/100








transparent pricing 100/100
low employee investment fees 87/100
Mobile and online access 100/100
No sign-up or administration fees 80/100
variety of plans 90/100

Why the American 401k Is Best for Transparency

Unlike some of the best employee retirement providers, American 401k offers transparent pricing. The provider's administration fee and per-employee fee are indicated for each of the two plans, and custom quotes can be obtained by phone, email, or via the online contact form. What's more, the company does not charge 12b-1 fees, exchange fees, or minimum-balance fees, and there are no commissions on the purchase or sale of mutual funds.

professionals

  • The company's website is transparent about pricing and fees.
  • American 401k offers investors over 15,000 funds and 1,000 ETFs, including Vanguard.
  • It is suitable for businesses with one to 500 employees.

Shortcoming

  • Some plans limit access to certain investments, which can hurt adoption rates.
  • There is limited information about the administrative dashboard of the platform.

Features of American 401k Plan










Speciality Chieftain Aristocrat class
Number of Employees 0 to 100 101+
employee self-enrolment Yes Yes
Individual and online group enrollment sessions Yes Yes
passive and active funds Yes Yes
ETFs Yes Yes
individual securities No Yes

Chieftain

Designed for businesses with up to 100 employees, American 401k's premier plan is for businesses starting a new 401(k). This plan provides full service and recordkeeping; The biggest difference is in the types of investments available. Premiere only offers mutual and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), making it ideal for businesses that want to limit employees to diversified investment options.

Aristocrat class

American 401k's Elite plan is for businesses with 101 or more employees and businesses with an existing 401(k). The option is also best for businesses that want access to funds, ETFs and individual securities.

additional features

  • Setup and Onboarding: Clients receive concierge-level guidance during the implementation process and ongoing administration. American 401k helps business owners and human resources professionals design retirement plans tailored to their unique needs. If your company has an existing 401(k), American 401(k) can help you review your current plan and conduct a fiduciary investment review.
  • Administration, Compliance and Record Keeping: American 401k customers can take advantage of payroll software integration, as well as receive assistance with Department of Labor and IRS compliance and compensation reporting. PB&H Benefits provides administration and recordkeeping services to US 401k customers.
  • Mobile Enrollment: Like many retirement providers, American 401k offers mobile enrollment to employees.
  • Employee Education and Resources: Employees also receive face-to-face investment guidance, in-person group enrollment, webinars, retirement income calculators, and access to economic and market updates.

account type

  • Safe Harbor 401(k): Safe harbor plans have some matching requirements outlined by the IRS, but they also allow business owners to maximize their own contributions to the plan.
  • Traditional 401(k): Traditional 401(k) plans offer the greatest flexibility for companies with employees.
  • Solo 401(k): Businesses that have no employees can set up a self-employed 401(k), which allows for larger contributions than other individual retirement plans.

investment options

American 401k employers can choose from over 15,000 mutual funds and over 1,000 ETFs. Plan administrators can also choose from both active and passive (or index) funds. What's more, American 401k investment does not limit the number of slots that employers can offer their employees, and employers can include the option of a self-directed brokerage account.

Beyond its range of investment options, American 401k mutual fund does not collect commissions when buying or selling shares, and there are no 12b-1 fees, exchange fees, or minimum-balance fees.

significant achievementsImportant achievements: In addition to 401(k) plans, American 401k provides access to more than 15,000 mutual funds and 1,000 exchange-traded funds, giving employees significant choices in how to invest for their retirement.

Pricing

American 401k major retirement plans have similar administrative costs, with discounts available depending on the size of the plan. The American 401k mutual fund does not charge a commission when buying or selling shares, and there are no 12b-1 fees, exchange fees, or minimum-balance fees.

  • Premiere: This plan has a one-time install fee of $250 and an annual fee of $500, plus $20 per month per participant. Employees are charged an annual program fee of 0.65%. Profit sharing is involved.
  • Aristocrat class: This plan has a one-time install fee of $250 and an annual fee of $500, plus $20 per month per participant, with discounts based on plan size. Employees are charged a custom annual event fee based on their employer's plan. Like the Premier plan, profit sharing is also included.

ease of use

American 401k plans are offered through a subsidiary of MassMutual. But there is no opportunity to set up an online plan; You'll need to work with a representative, which requires a coordination program and may include face-to-face meetings. However, once your plan is established, maintenance of the plan can be handled online.

American 401k also supports employee participation rates by offering both online and mail-in enrollment. The provider offers group enrollment meetings in person or via webinars, as well as educational resources to help employees make investment decisions.

customer service

Information about American 401k's customer service is limited. Potential clients who would like a quote can contact a financial professional by phone, email or via the contact form. American 401k's website indicates that clients have access to the Account Manager Concierge Service and that advisory services are offered through qualified registered representatives of MML Investors Services LLC, a subsidiary of MassMutual. Similarly, customer service related to recordkeeping may go through a third party provider, PB&H Benefits.

drawbacks

American 401k charges an annual fee. If you're looking for an employee retirement benefits service provider that doesn't charge an annual fee, consider our review of Human Interest.

TipTip: Looking for other options for the American 401k? Consider our review of ADP or our Paychex review.

What is an Employee Retirement Benefit Provider?

An Employee Retirement Benefit Provider is a company that helps small business owners provide sponsored retirement plans for their employees to save and invest in. Retirement benefit providers provide a variety of services, including plan administration, investment selection, and record keeping. Providers typically offer a variety of retirement plans, investment options, pricing structures, features, and services.

methodology

To determine our best pick for transparency in employee retirement plans, we researched plan providers who provided all-important information up front. Entrepreneurs are busy running their business and don't have time to call each vendor to find out the cost of each plan. That's why transparency in pricing and services is so important.

We chose companies that offered the most specific details, rather than categories of pricing. We also looked for plan sponsors who elaborate on their fees and costs that are in front of us. In order to land our preference for transparency, the seller must also be clear about the types of plan and investment options it offers and provide top-notch customer service. The American 401k checks all of these boxes for transparency.

questions to ask

Does American 401k Offer “Concierge” Support?

Yes. With concierge-level support, your business receives a dedicated team of retirement experts who create and implement your plans, help you sign up employees, and help educate employees about their options. To provide training and support.

What Are Some Investment Fees That American 401k Doesn't Charge?

American 401k does not charge sales loads, 12b-1 fees, exchange fees, or minimum balance fees. Employees participating in American 401k plans pay a 0.65% investment fee. Investment fees can add up quickly and reduce the overall lifetime ROI of your investment portfolio.

ground level

We recommend the American 401k…

  • Business owners who want a face-to-face meeting with a representative.
  • Companies that want to provide personalized service to their employees.
  • Businesses located in the Philadelphia area.

we No Recommend the American 401k for…

  • Business owners who want a streamlined online setup.
  • Startups that want to reward employees with equity in the company.

Human Interest Review 2022 | Best Employee Retirement Plans

Human Interest Editor's score: 95/100








transparent pricing 100/100
low employee investment fees 95/100
Mobile and online access 100/100
No fee for sign-up and administration 100/100
variety of plans 90/100

Why Human Interest Is Best for Affordability

Human Interest is the best employee retirement provider for affordability because it is cost-effective and significantly more transparent about pricing than most other providers in the space. The $4-per-employee fee is relatively low, especially for plans that offer easy payroll integration, as well as full plan administration and recordkeeping.

professionals

  • Monthly rates start at just $120 per month, plus $4 per employee per month.
  • Tiered pricing lets businesses choose the level of support that's right for them.
  • Human Interest includes free built-in investment advice for employees and automatic portfolio rebalancing.

Shortcoming

  • Some users report problems connecting with the customer support team.
  • The customer support team is unable to make the account change.
  • There are no IRA options.

plans










Speciality Mandatory Full gatekeeper
payroll integration Yes Yes Yes
Automated administration and record keeping Yes Yes Yes
planning administration No Yes Yes
Human interest 3(16) acts as fiduciary No Yes Yes
tax support No Yes Yes
Dedicated Account Management No No Yes

Mandatory

Essential Human Interest has a basic plan that includes integration with over 100 payroll providers, along with automated administration and recordkeeping. Employers can customize plans to include safe harbor plans, profit-sharing plans, Roth and traditional 401(k) plans and 403(b) plans. The Essentials plan enables employers to design vesting schedules, automatic enrollment, plan eligibility, employer matching contributions, and more.

Full

In addition to the integration and automation available through the Essentials plan, Complete Plan customers get more advanced services from the Human Interest team. With this option, Manav acts as the plan administrator and 3(16) fiduciary. The completed plan also includes tax support, including human interest indications and IRS documents.

gatekeeper

The Concierge is Human Interest's most comprehensive employee retirement plan. Employers get access to all the features included in the full plan, as well as dedicated account management, which further streamlines administration and makes it easier to provide employee retirement benefits.

additional features

  • Administrative compliance. Business owners can choose a plan that puts IRS and DOL reporting and compliance in the hands of a human interest account manager.
  • Salary integration. Human Interest's platform integrates with over 100 of the most popular payroll companies, making it easy to track and process employee contributions.
  • Reporting. Employers can access the Human Interest admin dashboard to view reports, evaluate employee adoption, and perform other tasks.
  • IRS document. Business owners can simplify tax preparation by choosing a Human Interest Complete or Concierge plan. With either of these options, Human Interest minimizes paperwork and reduces the risk of missing deadlines from preparing, signing, and filing IRS forms.
  • employee resources. Human Interest provides employees with built-in investment advice and automated portfolio rebalancing. Employees can get assistance for rollovers, loans and hardship withdrawals via phone and email. There is also an online learning center for both employees and employers.
  • Automated portfolio management. Employee funds can be invested in a diversified and low-cost portfolio and rebalanced quarterly. This makes retirement investing easier for employees who are not comfortable managing their own funds.

did you know?did you know? Employee retirement benefits integrate closely with top payroll software, so employers and employees can easily track salaries and benefits side by side.

account type

Human Interest offers a variety of retirement plans. Each plan has its own rules and regulations, as determined by the IRS.

  • Traditional 401(k): Traditional 401(k) plans allow pretax deductions, which employers can choose whether to match.
  • Roth 401(k): Roth accounts allow for after-tax contributions and tax-free growth and distribution.
  • Safe Harbor 401(k): Safe harbor 401(k) plans include some matching provisions that allow business owners to maximize their own contributions each year.
  • 403(b): These plans are most commonly used by government agencies and nonprofits, but they can be useful for smaller churches and philanthropic organizations.
  • profit sharing: A portion of employees' 401(k) contributions each year can come from the company's profit-sharing, which is entirely at the business owner's discretion.

investment options

Human Interest keeps investment options simple for employees, focusing on a small lineup of mostly stock and bond mutual funds. Through Human Interest, employees get access to some funds with international exposure and some funds focused on real estate. However, the primary goal of Human Interest is to offer a selection of cost-effective funds that are diverse and easy to choose from. The company offers the following types of investments:

  • stock mutual funds
  • bond mutual funds
  • international mutual funds
  • real estate fund
  • an FDIC-insured cash deposit account

While Human Interest doesn't offer a ton of investment options, it focuses on reducing employees' expense and risk and limiting them to options that offer diversification. This makes it easier for employees to choose investment options that do not involve a lot of risk to their nest egg.

Pricing

  • Mandatory: $120 per month base fee, plus $4 per eligible employee per month
  • Full: $150 per month base fee, plus $6 per eligible employee per month
  • Gatekeeper: $150 per month base fee, plus $8 per eligible employee per month

As with all Human Interest retirement plans, a one-time setup fee of $499 may apply. In addition to plan costs incurred by employers, enrolled employees pay an average fund fee of 0.5% per year, plus 0.07%.

ease of use

Signing up for Human Interest is very easy. Begin by navigating to the Get Started button on the homepage and identifying your business's workforce. Then, choose which payroll provider you use, and indicate whether your business has an existing retirement plan and if so, what type. Finally, provide contact information so that a human interests representative can contact you. To schedule a call with a Human Interest Representative, you can call them directly or submit your contact information online.

Once you've established a retirement plan with human interest in mind, administration and payroll integration become largely unified. Although the online help center has many helpful resources, concierge users can also ask questions to their dedicated account manager. Plan participation is also easier for employees, as Human Interest provides instructions on creating an email account, setting contribution rates, choosing investments, and exiting.

human interest
An employee dashboard makes it easy to manage retirement investments

Source: Human Interest


customer service

If you are considering human interest for the employee retirement needs of your business, it is easy to contact the sales team by phone or online form. Human Interest employers and employees can contact you by telephone Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, or you can fill out the contact form through the Human Interest Support Center. Plan administrators can contact customer support directly through their account representatives.

drawbacks

The biggest drawback we identified when reviewing Human Interest is its one-time installation fee of $499. These fees are common throughout the employee retirement benefits industry, but human interest incurs a high fee. The company sometimes waives this fee when running a promotion, and may be open to negotiation.

TipTip: Considering alternatives to human interest? Read our review of the ShareBuilder 401k or our American 401k review.

What is an Employee Retirement Benefit Provider?

Retirement benefit providers help business owners set up and operate retirement plans for themselves or their employees. Many providers offer a variety of services, including plan design or administration, proprietary investment options, investment management or payroll services.

methodology

To choose our best pick for affordability, we examined employee retirement benefit providers that kept costs low and didn't charge exorbitantly. When reviewing companies, we considered the setup, maintenance fees, and total cost per employee per month for the plan. Next, we considered the breadth of features and services provided by these affordable plan providers. We chose Human Interest because it offers a wide range of investment options, a mobile and/or online app, and top-notch customer service.

questions to ask

Is Human Interest a good company?

Human Interest is a very good company that specializes in streamlined online offerings. The company, which was valued at $1 billion in its most recent fundraising round, offers a main lineup of employer-sponsored retirement plans that are easy to set up and administer.

Is Human Interest a Good 401(k)?

Human Interest is an excellent 401(k) provider. Although the company is not the cheapest option available, it is extremely transparent and very reasonably priced. What's more, the company handles all plan administration and recordkeeping, integrates easily with the company's payroll and can even act as a planning assistant for a small, transparent fee.

Who is the master of human interest?

Human Interest is a startup founded by Paul Sawaya and Roger Lee. It also has outside investors including SoftBank, Newview Capital, Glin Capital, US Venture Partners, Wing Venture Capital, Uncork Capital, Slow Capital, Susa Ventures and others.

ground level

We recommend Human Interest…

  • Tech-savvy companies with half a dozen to several dozen full-time employees.
  • Small employers who want to easily manage safe harbor plans.
  • Small churches and foundations.

we No Recommend human interest…

  • Large employers with more than 50 employees.
  • Solopreneurs in need of a self-employed 401(k).
  • Business owners who mostly hire consultants and independent contractors.

Paychex Review 2022 | Employee Retirement Plan Review

Paychex Editor's Score: 93/100








transparent pricing 87/100
low employee investment fees 90/100
Mobile and online access 100/100
No fees for sign-up and administration 90/100
variety of plans 100/100

Why Paychex is the Best All-in-One Solution

Paychex is a great all-in-one solution as the company provides HR, payroll and employee benefits in addition to retirement account administration and recordkeeping. The company offers a full menu of options, so you can choose which Paychex features you want.

professionals

  • Business owners can manage their HR, payroll and employee retirement benefits in one platform.
  • Paychex lets business owners tailor a retirement plan to the unique needs of their company.
  • It provides user-friendly online and mobile app-based tools.

Shortcoming

  • Retirement benefit management is not a core competency of Paychex.
  • Paychex representatives provide limited guidance on 401(k) plans and retirement planning.
  • Retirement planning services are only available to businesses that also use Paychex's payroll services.

plans

Unlike some of the top employee retirement providers, Paychex does not offer individual plans. Instead, employers can create a 401(k) plan that includes recordkeeping, administration or plan design — or any combination of those features — that includes only recordkeeper services and stand-alone third-party administration.

Paychex users can bundle health benefits, payroll and HR services as well as outsource services to a full-service Professional Employer Organization (PEO). Notably, however, businesses that do not use Paychex's payroll services are not eligible for the company's retirement services.

did you know?did you know? Offering retirement benefits to your employees like a 401(k) helps your small business, too.

additional features

  • Onboarding: In addition to helping employers choose investment options and optimize plan parameters, Paychex can work with your current HR and benefits provider to transition to a new platform and plan. This includes managing and completing required documents, setting up payroll, and re-enrolling participating employees.
  • Bundled Recordkeeping and Payroll Integration: Employers can use Paychex to handle all aspects of their retirement plan administration and record keeping. Paychex also offers recordkeeper-only services for employers who prefer more basic features.
  • Easy Enrollment: Employee enrollment can be completed through the mobile application or automatically. Employees can also use the app to check retirement contribution amounts, rebalance their accounts and review investment performance.
  • Employee Resources: In addition to chatting with a representative through their Paychex Flex accounts, employees can take advantage of Paychex's FAQ page. However, these online resources are more limited than those offered by dedicated retirement providers, and representatives may not provide investment-specific guidance.

account type

Paychex customers can choose from a variety of retirement plans, including traditional 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, SIMPLE IRAs, and even employer plans (PEPs). Each of these plans has its own rules and regulations, as set out by the IRS.

  • PEP: A PEP is a new type of plan that allows employers to pool multiple retirement plans into a single 401(k).
  • Traditional 401(k): Companies can work out their plan with a financial advisor and decide on their match.
  • Owner-only 401(k): Owner-only plans allow entrepreneurs to maximize their tax-deferred savings.
  • Solo 401(k): A solo 401(k) is like an owner-only 401(k), but many also include a checkbook option that allows account holders to invest in alternative assets.
  • Simple IRA: A SIMPLE IRA is like a basic, easily managed 401(k) that can be a good cost-effective option for businesses with fewer than two dozen employees.
  • 403(b): A 403(b) is like a 401(k) for churches, charities and government agencies.

investment options

Employers who use Paychex to provide employee retirement benefits get access to thousands of investment options. However, these investments depend on the offerings of individual financial advisors and are, therefore, not described on the Paychex website.

And while the Paychex platform makes it easy for employees to choose their allocations to change investments—since most Paychex plans are designed by financial advisors—it's unclear whether Paychex will be able to incorporate investments such as individual securities or stocks in private companies. I am so flexible.

Pricing

Like many top employee retirement providers, Paychex does not publish its retirement benefit pricing on its website. Instead, pricing depends on the business's customized retirement plan and other Paychex services used by the business. If your business already uses Paychex to process payroll, contact your account representative to get a quote for retirement services. You can also get a quote by submitting a request through the website or using the online chat option. Alternatively, you can contact the Paychex sales team via telephone.

ease of use

Paychex's full sign-up and onboarding procedures are not detailed online, but employers can sign up by contacting the sales team by phone or website. The type of services an employer chooses from Paychex also determines the overall ease of use of the platform. Business owners who opt for comprehensive recordkeeping and administration will experience more streamlined onboarding and long-term plan administration.

customer service

Employers can contact Paychex about retirement services by phone Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Users can also email the support team, access their Paychex Flex account online, or live chat with a representative. Employees who need help with retirement services can view a selection of frequently asked questions online, or access their Paychex Flex account and chat live with a representative.

Despite these resources, some current Paychex users report a lack of coordination among support representatives in different service areas.

drawbacks

Paychecks have some drawbacks when it comes to retirement benefits. First, Paychex is primarily a payroll company, so retirement benefits are not a core competency of the company. If you don't have a dedicated representative to help with your retirement account, it can make issues difficult to resolve. Also, you must be a Paychex payroll customer to be eligible for the company's retirement services.

TipTip: Looking for a dedicated employee retirement benefits provider? Consider our review of the American 401k, our Human Interest review or our ShareBuilder 401k review.

What is an Employee Retirement Benefit Provider?

An employee retirement benefit provider is a company that helps small business owners establish and administer retirement plans for themselves and/or their employees. Companies offer a variety of plans, investment options, facilities and services depending on their role in the planning and administration process. Some providers also offer features such as payroll administration to make it cheaper and easier for participants to contribute to their accounts.

questions to ask

Is Paychex a Good Company?

Paychex is a very large and respected company. It's also a great provider of 401(k) plans, especially if you also need payroll and HR services or if you have a financial advisor you want to work on the design of the plan.

Is Paychex safe to use?

Paychex is absolutely safe to use. It is a very large, reputable, secure company. It has strong security policies and handles payroll for many large companies.

Which is better: ADP or Paychex?

ADP and Paychex are both very large companies that focus primarily on providing payroll services, but both also offer employee retirement benefits. Each company has its strengths and weaknesses, and which one is better depends largely on the needs of your small business. Read our ADP Retirement Planning review to learn more about its retirement service.

ground level

We recommend Paychex for…

  • Businesses that already use Paychex to manage their HR and payroll needs.
  • Small and medium-sized businesses that want to outsource HR, payroll and employee retirement benefits.
  • Businesses that want to offer collective employer plans.

we No Recommend Paychex for…

  • Businesses that don't already use Paychex's payroll and HR services.
  • Business owners who want an account manager with expertise in retirement planning and investing.
  • Large organizations that require strong employee retirement options.

Small Business Guide to PEO Accreditation

  • There are three major accreditation agencies in the PEO industry: ESAC, the IRS, and the Certification Institute.
  • ESAC-accredited PEOs are among the top 5% of PEOs in the industry.
  • Accreditation from these three agencies guarantees Ironclad financials, good risk management programs and ethical human resource practices to ensure your business is partnering with the right company.
  • This article is for small business owners who are trying to understand why recognition is important in the PEO industry.

If you've decided to work with a professional employer organization (PEO) to offload some of your HR-related work, it can sometimes be difficult to find the right one. There are hundreds of PEOs across the country who provide thousands of services to small businesses. Finding the right fit can mean the difference between taking your business's human resources department to the next level and using a one-size-fits-all service suite that doesn't match your company's needs.

More importantly, the nature of the work of PEOs is highly sensitive. You are relying on a third-party company to collect and store customer data, accurately process payroll each pay period, and develop an HR policy that may determine your company culture . While making the decision to work with a PEO can be easy, finding the right one requires time and attention.

When searching for the best PEO provider, you need to consider several factors. Defining your business needs is the first step, then working with a few different PEOs to understand which services are best for your business needs.

One important factor is recognition. While there are many PEOs throughout the United States, only a few are accredited by the top PEO accreditation agencies. These agencies strictly review the PEOs and their services on an annual basis to ensure that the services are up to par.

Employer Service Assurance Corporation (ESAC) is one of these agencies. It is an organization consisting of top PEO lawyers and CPAs committed to building integrity and trust in the PEO industry. Other accreditation agencies for PEOs include the IRS, the Certification Institute, and the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO). While NAPEO is a special interest group that represents the PEO industry, it also confirms with PEOs that they have audited financial statements reviewed by an independent CPA.

did you know?did you know? It is common to confuse PEO services with ASO services, but there are major differences in how each will support your business. Learn more in our PEO vs. ASO guide.

What is PEO Recognition?

Accreditation agencies rigorously review PEO's proposals to ensure that businesses are providing services of an exemplary standard. There are many different agencies. While accreditation is not the paramount and end of good PEO services, it is an important factor, especially for large companies that provide professional employment services to thousands of businesses nationwide.

ESAC

ESAC is the gold standard of PEO accreditation agencies. As the official accreditation agency of the PEO industry, ESAC has a board of PEO industry attorneys, CPAs and independent directors. These professionals have over 100 years of combined experience in the PEO industry. This agency reviews financial information, general business practices, software offerings and regulatory standards. Earning this level of recognition are PEOs certified businesses that are financially stable and provide ethical services to small businesses across the country.

Companies with this accreditation have a competitive advantage over other PEOs. In the eyes of a small business owner, working with a certified PEO guarantees quality services, while unaccredited PEOs pose more risk. This allows small business owners to shop for PEO services in a more affordable way. By comparing prices, services, and other practices among accredited PEOs, business owners can ensure they are getting quality services with whichever company they decide to partner with.

IRS

A PEO that is certified by the IRS is known as a Certified Professional Employer Organization (CPEO). These companies may work directly with the IRS when handling small business tax information. Keep in mind that while the IRS is “accredited” agencies, the CPEO designation refers to an overall IRS program to streamline tax filing practices among PEOs and small businesses.

To be listed as a CPEO, a PEO must meet “tax status, background, experience, business location, financial reporting, relationships, and other requirements described in statutes and regulations” according to the IRS. This process verifies the financial status of the PEO and ensures that the company is qualified to submit financial information on behalf of small businesses.

certification institute

The Certification Institute, like ESAC, specializes in reviewing PEO practices to ensure ethical business operations and stable financial conditions in the PEO industry. It also specializes in risk management reviews for PEOs, particularly in relation to workers' compensation. Certification from this organization is particularly relevant to small businesses that require comprehensive risk management and workers' compensation offerings, such as construction companies. This organization benefits both small businesses and PEOs by reviewing PEO practices and ensuring that workers' compensation losses can be minimized through holistic processes. Of the three certification bodies we looked at, the certification institute has the most transparent and comprehensive review processes.

did you know?did you know? NAPEO provides a simple and intuitive tool to find local PEOs and understand their accreditation.

What are the standards that an accredited PEO has to meet?

Most of the overall review application and process for these three accrediting bodies are not officially known. All of these organizations examine processes from a high-level perspective, and as a small business owner, it may be the only understanding needed to ensure that you are getting quality services.

While these organizations certify gold-standard services, they don't protect against mistakes, customer service problems, or any other problems you may encounter. Instead, certification should be viewed as a base-level assurance that you are dealing with an honest, reputable company.

ESAC Standard

While there are many factors involved in ensuring high quality services, ESAC highlights regulatory practices to ensure that PEOs are operating in a safe and ethical manner. The agency, which has been reviewing PEOs since 1995, has effectively addressed business practices issues among PEOs before they default. ESAC standards are so stringent that states have begun entrusting ESAC to review and certify viable businesses based on state-specific regulations. When a company is reviewed and approved, it is considered to be in good standing with its state's regulations as well as ESAC standards. Many states also accept ESAC certification in lieu of licensing requirements. The agency provides more than $15 million in financial assistance to PEOs nationwide, which is unmatched by any other agency.

In terms of specific requirements, ESAC has over 40 industry best practices, and reviews accredited businesses on a quarterly basis. This review process includes analyzing employer payments, such as federal and state employment taxes, health and workers' compensation premiums, and retirement planning programs.

TipFYI: Less than 5% of all PEOs operating across the country meet ESAC's standard for industry reliability.

IRS Standards

The IRS has several rules that a PEO must meet in order to become a CPEO. Generally, a PEO must meet certain tax status, background and financial reporting requirements to earn this status. PEOs have to apply independently and are reviewed by the IRS to reach the certification level. Keep in mind that some businesses may not qualify for CPEO status depending on the services they provide.

certification institute

The Certification Institute has a comprehensive list of qualifications and requirements for a PEO, as well as an application and review process. However, the focus of this certification is risk management. Some examples of certification institution requirements are a written risk management plan, customer service agreement, an employee handbook, written policies and procedures for workers' compensation programs, and written policies and procedures for claims management practices. Some of these processes also need to be reviewed and updated annually, according to the certification body.

Specific requirements and practices are outlined in the certification institution's application manual, but the overall review process includes a detailed look at the PEO's overall risk management program.

TipFYI: PEOs can help protect companies from common business liabilities by establishing high-level risk management plans to address any problems that arise.

Why is it important to work with an accredited PEO?

There are thousands of PEOs across the country, and working with an accredited one means you are partnering with a company that is prepared to have its business practices reviewed by third parties. If the PEO you are interested in has obtained ESAC accreditation, it is one of the top 5% of all PEOs in the country. If it has also earned the accreditation of the IRS and Certification Institute, it is one of a distinguished group of PEOs.

The nature of PEO work is sensitive: a third-party company will handle critical employee information, critical human resources functions, and major compensation programs. You need to partner with companies you can trust, and that means taking into account things like third party accreditation. Choosing the right PEO means understanding the needs of your business, but even if a PEO meets all of your business needs, if it's not accredited, you can put your company at additional risk. By doing research, working with multiple PEOs to find the right PEO, and prioritizing recognition, you can set your business up for success.

How do you verify patients’ health care insurance?

  • Insurance Verification maximizes your cash flow, minimizes your rejected claims and keeps your patients happy.
  • Insurance verification verifies your patient's coverage and benefits, while the insurance authority gives you a green signal to provide certain services.
  • The insurance verification process involves collecting patient insurance information and verifying it with the insurer.
  • This article is for medical practitioners who want to know about insurance verification.

Suppose you had a good experience with a patient and you feel that you have provided a satisfactory experience to the patient. If you find that your patient's insurance information was incorrect and your claims were denied, this enthusiasm may subside. Proper insurance verification before the patient is visited can avoid this undesirable outcome. The good news is that the verification process is nowhere near as difficult as it is often assumed.

What is Insurance Verification?

Insurance verification is the process of verifying a patient's insurance coverage and benefits prior to an encounter. More importantly, it is the process of verifying that the patient's insurance plan covers the services you provide and is in your network. If not, you can either prevent the patient from seeing you or inform them that they will have to pay for your services completely out of pocket.

In some medical practices, front-office workers handle insurance verification. In this case, insurance verification can cover a staggering portion of a staff member's workday. If you want to ensure that your front-office staff has enough time to interact with patients, you can outsource insurance verification to third-party medical billing companies. Our review of the best medical billing and coding services can help you decide which company, whether it's a user-friendly one or a highly customizable advanced MD, might be best for you.

TipTip: You can outsource insurance verification to third-party medical billing companies if the process would be too challenging to handle in-house.

Importance of Verification of Patient Health Insurance in Medical Billing

Insurance verification equally matters whether you have been practicing for a long time or are just opening a medical practice.

  • This minimizes claim denial. Let's say you have a patient's insurance information on file for the past year and assume their insurance hasn't changed. if their insurance Is has been changed, you can send the claim to the wrong payer. The result, of course, is a quick claim denial. You will need to contact the patient to determine their appropriate insurer and to refill the claim with that payer. Still, you've already lost time and money working on that initial claim.
  • This maximizes cash flow. Your cash flow also improves by reducing claim denials that result from insurance verification. Think about it: Fewer rejected claims means more accepted claims, which means more money more quickly. With the proper insurance information about all of your patients, you'll go to the right source for your reimbursement the first time.
  • It enhances patient satisfaction. We've all been there: You went to the doctor for therapy, but you left paying more than you expected. Shouldn't your insurance cover the whole thing? As a practitioner yourself, you have the power to prevent such unsatisfactory patient experiences from happening. Verify the patient's insurance before meeting with you, then tell them what their plan does and doesn't. This way, patients do not face any costly surprises.

What is the difference between Insurance Authorization and Insurance Verification?

While insurance verification is the process of verifying a patient's insurance information, insurance authorization is the act of obtaining the insurer's approval for certain services. This approval is separate from the process of making and filing medical claims. It is a form of prior authorization for services rather than a retroactive offer to receive payment.

Insurance authorization may be necessary if certain treatments, prescriptions or tests become necessary to care for your patient. Different payers have different rules on when authorization is required, but their goal is generally the same: to ensure that the payer's money goes solely toward needed, high-quality services. Is.

Some patients may also require insurance pre-authorization for any and all specialist visits. Often, a primary care physician referral covers this requirement completely.

significant achievementsImportant achievements: You may need to authorize certain treatments, prescriptions, tests, or specialist visits with insurers before facing the patient.

health insurance verification process

To verify a patient's health insurance, take the following steps:

1. Collect patient insurance information during recruitment and registration.

When was the last time you saw a patient intake or registration form without a field for patient insurance information? When was the last time you heard an appointment scheduling call during which a patient was not asked for their insurance information? You probably can't think of an answer to any of the questions, or maybe it's simple. never, There is a reason for that. With patient insurance information immediately available, your verification process begins immediately.

Collecting patient insurance information upon intake means much more than asking the patient which company insures them. This also means obtaining the patient's insurance ID, policy number and, if applicable, group number. The patient's insurance card should also have a phone number that the provider can call. You should also record this number.

Additionally, you should check whether the patient or any other person is the policyholder. Make sure to enter the full name of the policyholder and the relationship with the patient. Group all the insurance information you collect with the patient's full name and date of birth, and you'll have everything you need.

TipTip: Acquiring complete records of patient demographics offers your medical practice several important benefits, including faster check-ins, insurance verification, and less labor in record keeping.

2. Contact the patient's insurer.

Whether you have an excellent relationship with the patient's insurer or have never worked with them before, contact them after receiving patient information. You should arrive early, as insurers cover so many people that they may need several days to accept and process your verification request.

To start, try contacting by phone. Call the insurance provider number collected from the patient and wait for a representative to respond. If you find yourself waiting for what feels like forever, call later, as insurance provider lines are often quite busy.

Once you reach an insurance representative, verify that the person you are speaking to is authorized to verify the patient's insurance details. Next, confirm with the representative that your current phone conversation is a HIPAA-compliant way of transmitting patient information. Then, share the insurance information collected from the patient. See the next step for tips on doing this effectively.

Alternatively, many insurers have online portals into which you can enter patient data to verify their coverage and benefits. However, these portals have a reputation for being out of date, so your verification results may be inaccurate. Thus phone calls are generally best for insurance verification, but online portals can be a good option in a pinch.

did you know?did you know? The best medical software automates insurance eligibility verification, integrates with major payers' systems to batch-check scheduled patients in real time.

3. Ask the right questions.

With an insurance representative on the phone and your patient's insurance information, you are ready to learn about your patient's coverage and benefits. To get started, ask the representative to confirm all the information you've gathered. Then, ask if the policy is active and when it expires. Assuming that the policy is actually active, you should ask the insurer what the patient will be reimbursed for. You should also collect patient deductible information.

At this point, you may have confirmed all the basics of your patient's insurance plan, but you shouldn't stop there. Now you need to find out if any kind of insurance authorization is necessary before seeing the patient. As you inquire about these requirements, also ask about additional documentation or unusual coverage limits. Finally, ask any questions that you know from past experience are relevant to this specific payer.

4. Start at the top before each patient is visited.

The above three steps comprise the entire insurance verification process. However, patients can theoretically lose insurance or change plans at any time. It is best to collect patient insurance information prior to each encounter, or encourage them to do so through your practice's patient portal. The assumption is true that you haven't seen a patient in a year or a week.

Don't just ask if the patient's insurance has changed, as this question doesn't tell the patient the date of your most recent data on them. Instead, show them all the information you have and ask if it's accurate or needs to be updated. If the information you show to the patient is correct, your insurance verification process is complete. If not, start at the top and don't cut corners. Your cash flow, claim denial rate and patient satisfaction are on the line.

8 Critical Steps in the Accounting Cycle

  • The accounting cycle has eight basic steps that ensure that a business performs its bookkeeping functions correctly.
  • Process monthly, quarterly or annually depending on how often your company requires financial reports.
  • Companies can modify steps in the accounting process to fit their business models and accounting procedures.
  • This article is intended for business owners, accountants and bookkeepers who want to accurately process their company's bookkeeping tasks.

When preparing financial statements, businesses take a number of careful steps designed to transform basic financial data into consolidated, complete and accurate reports. This systematic process is called the accounting cycle, and it helps make financial reporting easier and more straightforward for business owners.

Here's an in-depth look at the accounting cycle, the eight primary steps involved and how the best accounting software can automate the process.

What is the accounting cycle?

The accounting cycle is a comprehensive process designed to make the financial responsibilities of a company easier for its owner, accountant or bookkeeper. The accounting cycle divides a bookkeeper's responsibilities into eight essential steps for identifying, analyzing and recording financial information. It serves as a clear guideline for carrying out bookkeeping tasks correctly.

Editor's Note: Looking for the Right Accounting Software for Your Business? Fill out the questionnaire below to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.

The accounting cycle is a holistic process that records business transactions from start to finish, helping businesses stay organized and efficient. This cycle includes all of the company's accounts, including T-accounts, credits, debits, journal entries, financial statements and book closings.

One of the main objectives of the accounting cycle is to ensure that all finances during the accounting period are correctly recorded and reflected in the statements. It is like a checklist which has to be completed at the end of an accounting period.

A business may conduct monthly, quarterly or annual accounting cycles, depending on how often the company requires financial reports.

significant achievementsFYI: Even after choosing the right accounting software to automate the stages of the accounting cycle, it is still essential for business owners and bookkeepers to know and understand the process.

modifying the accounting cycle

Companies also modify the stages of the accounting cycle to fit their business models and accounting procedures. A major revision is made according to the type of accounting method used by the business. Companies can follow cash accounting or accrual accounting, or choose between single-entry and double-entry accounting.

Double-entry accounting is ideal for companies that produce all of the major accounting reports, including balance sheets, cash flow statements and income statements.

did you know?did you know? If you are wondering whether to use cash or accrual accounting, cash accounting is suitable for freelancers, small businesses and sole proprietorships. But all businesses with more than $1 million in inventory or revenue must follow the accrual method.

8 Stages of the Accounting Cycle

Here's an in-depth look at the eight stages of the accounting cycle. Once you have checked all the steps, you can move on to the next accounting period.

1. Identify and analyze transactions during the accounting period.

A business begins its accounting cycle by identifying and collecting details about transactions during the accounting period. When identifying a transaction, you need to determine its impact. Transactions include expenses, asset acquisitions, borrowings, loan payments, debt accrued and sales revenue.

TipTip: Consider using receipt-tracking software to properly organize transactions and expenses.

2. Record transactions in a journal.

The next step is to record your financial transactions as journal entries in your accounting software or ledger. Some companies use point-of-sale technology attached to their books by combining steps one and two. Still, it's essential for businesses to keep track of their expenses.

Your accounting type and method determines when you recognize expenses and income. For accrual accounting, you will identify financial transactions when they are incurred. Cash accounting, on the other hand, involves looking for transactions whenever cash changes hands.

Double-entry accounting suggests recording each transaction as a credit or debit in separate journals to maintain a proper balance sheet, cash flow statement and income statement. On the other hand, single-entry accounting is like managing a checkbook. It does not require multiple entries, rather it gives a balance report.

TipTip: Bookkeeping is essential for all types of transactions. Be sure to record transactions throughout the accounting period rather than waiting until the end and struggling to find receipts and other pertinent information.

3. Post transactions to the general ledger.

Once the transactions are recorded in the journals, they are also posted in the general ledger. A general ledger is an important aspect of accounting, serving as a master record of all financial transactions.

The general ledger breaks down the financial activities of the various accounts so that you can keep track of the various company account finances. A cash account is by far the most important account in a general ledger, as it gives an idea of ​​the cash available at any given time.

4. Calculate an unadjusted trial balance.

While the first accounting cycle phases occur during the accounting period, you will calculate the unadjusted trial balance after the period ends and you have identified, recorded and posted all transactions. Trial Balance gives you an idea of ​​the unadjusted balance of each account. Such balance is then carried to the next stage for testing and analysis.

Creating an improper trial balance is important for a business, as it helps ensure that total debits equal total credits in your financial records. If they don't, then something is either missing or misaligned. This step typically identifies discrepancies, such as payments that you may have thought were collected and invoices you thought were cleared but actually weren't.

Whatever the scenario, an unadjusted trial balance displays all your credits and debits in one table. In the next step, you will investigate what went wrong.

5. Analyze the worksheet to identify errors.

The fifth stage of the accounting cycle involves analyzing your worksheets to identify entries that need to be adjusted. Since each transaction is recorded as a credit or debit, this step requires ensuring that the total credit balance and debit balance are equal. [Read related article: Direct Costs vs. Indirect Costs]

In addition to identifying errors, when accrual accounting is used, this step helps to reconcile revenue and expenses. Any discrepancy should be addressed by making adjustments, which happens in the next step.

6. Adjust journal entries to correct errors.

When the accounting period ends, you will adjust the journal entries to correct any mistakes and discrepancies found during the worksheet analysis. Since this is the last step before preparing the financial statements, you should double-check everything with the help of the newly adjusted trial balance.

7. Create and prepare financial statements.

Once the company has made all the adjustment entries, it prepares the financial statements. Most companies prepare balance sheets, income statements and cash flow statements.

The balance sheet and income statement reflect business events in the previous accounting cycle. Most businesses present a cash flow statement; While this is not mandatory, it helps to project and track your business's cash flow.

These financial statements are the most important result of the accounting cycle and are important to anyone interested in comparing your business with others. They are also highly valuable to business owners. Interpreting financial statements helps you stay on top of your finances and devise growth strategies.

8. Close the books for the accounting period.

The final step in the accounting cycle is to make closing entries by finalizing the expense, revenue and temporary accounts at the end of the accounting period. This includes closing temporary accounts, such as expenses and revenues, and transferring net income to permanent accounts such as retained earnings.

After you close the books, the financial statements produced provide a comprehensive performance analysis for the time frame. Then the accounting cycle begins again for the new reporting period.

This is a good time to do paperwork and plan for the next accounting period.

did you know?did you know? Business owners and bookkeepers must understand accounting standards as well as the accounting cycle. Accounting standards can guide your financial record keeping and help your business comply with state and federal laws.

accounting cycle time period

A business's accounting period depends on a number of factors, including its specific reporting requirements and deadlines. Many companies prefer to analyze their financial performance every month, while others focus on quarterly or annual reports.

At the end of the accounting period, companies should prepare financial statements. Public entities must comply with regulations and submit financial statements before the specified deadline.

accounting cycle vs budget cycle

The accounting cycle is not the same as the budget cycle. Whereas an accounting cycle focuses on events during a specific period and ensures that financial transactions are reported accurately, a budgeting cycle is tied to future performance and helps to plan for future transactions. .

The accounting cycle helps to produce useful information for external users, such as stakeholders and investors, while the budget cycle is used exclusively for internal management.

TipTip: Keep your accounting cycle on track with the Daily Accounting Checklist. Steps include refreshing your financial data, recording payments, and categorizing expenses.

Automating the Accounting Cycle with Accounting Software

Accounting software helps automate many steps in the accounting cycle and allows you to specify cycle dates, receive reports automatically, identify inaccuracies, and reconcile reports with ease. Depending on the characteristics of the accounting software, bookkeepers, certified public accountants and business owners may not need to intervene or manually perform certain accounting cycle steps.

Even though accounting software is working behind the scenes to perform important accounting cycle tasks, it is still essential for business owners and bookkeepers to understand the process and adhere to deadlines.

Why a business phone number is important

  • A business phone number provides a direct line to your company. It may also include features such as an interactive voice response (IVR) tree, which helps direct callers to guide themselves.
  • Business phone systems are as much branding devices as they are communication systems. They demonstrate legitimacy to customers and partners.
  • To find the business phone number for your company, follow the steps in the guide below.
  • This article is for small business owners who want to get a business phone number for their company.

A business phone number provides more than a direct line to your company. It also displays your local, national and international presence. Even if most of your customers are unlikely to call, the simple existence of a phone number presents the level of credibility customers desire. You can accomplish this easily with local phone numbers, toll-free (1-800) numbers and easy-to-remember vanity numbers. Some of these options are available for free, while the more expensive options usually cost less than $50 per month. Getting a phone number for your business doesn't have to be difficult – just follow the steps below.

How do you get a business phone number?

If you have a business address, it's easy to get a local number specified with the area code associated with your address. A quick call to your local phone company is one way to implement a single landline, and you may be able to get a bundle discount on your broadband Internet plan. If you already have a US-based mobile or landline phone number, you can sign up for a local number with Google Voice.

Editor's Note: Looking for the perfect business phone system? Fill out the questionnaire below to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.

A more popular option is Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) or virtual phone numbers. Most available cloud-based business phone systems offer a choice of local, toll-free, and personal or vanity phone numbers with a vast suite of advanced features for communication and productivity. With VoIP, adding new numbers through phone system apps is easy.

TipTip: Subscribing to VoIP services is easy – the trick is finding the best. To make the decision easier, visit our Business Phone System Best Picks page.

Why do you need a business phone number

First and foremost, your company should always provide customers, customers and vendors a way to reach personnel by phone during regular business hours. For your new business, you might want to separate your personal calls from your business calls. This separation gives you a better work-life balance, and maintains your professionalism with customers, vendors, and accounts.

A business phone system offers a long list of advanced calling features – such as custom greetings, call forwarding and auto attendants to ensure that your callers get the information they need in the most efficient and courteous way. Is. Many of these phone systems offer native integration with popular productivity tools and top customer relationship management (CRM) software that each helps make the most of customer interaction.

Types of business phone numbers

There are usually three types of phone numbers for your company to choose from. In many cases, your business may require a local number, toll-free number, and vanity phone number. Regardless of the type of phone number you get, the associated cost is relatively low.

phone number type Description price estimate
local number Phone numbers with a local, three-digit area code associated with a specific geographic area $0-$10 per month
toll free number phone numbers that begin with 800, 888, 877, 866, 855, 844 and 833; Can be dialed from anywhere without long distance charges $0-$10 per month
vanity phone number Personalized phone numbers that use the lettering system on the dialing keypad $10-$50 (sometimes more) per month

local phone number

Local phone numbers that begin with a three-digit area code are a great way for your business to establish a local presence in the community. While area codes can be spoofed these days, people who see a familiar area code on their caller ID are still more likely to answer an unknown phone number. For inbound calling purposes, local numbers provide a way for customers to contact a business without worrying about long distance charges.

A local business phone number is usually included with phone service plans for free, and it's easy to add additional lines for a small fee. If your company doesn't have a physical footprint in a specific geographic area, consider a local phone number via VoIP and a virtual phone system. Here are some benefits of getting a local number:

  • It establishes a presence in the community.
  • In many cases the cost is zero.
  • It's easy to get to with landlines and VoIP.

Here are some disadvantages of keeping it local:

  • Unfamiliar area codes are less likely to be answered.
  • Inbound callers may incur long distance charges.
  • Customers may consider your business inadequate.

toll free number

Toll-free numbers are phone numbers that begin with any of the following three-digit sequences: 800, 888, 877, 866, 855, 844 and 833. A phone number using the toll-free prefix can be dialed from any landline free of charge to the caller. For customers outside the local area, toll-free numbers allow them to make calls without worrying about potential long-distance phone charges. However, mobile phone callers without an unlimited calling plan will still pay for the time of the call when using the toll-free number. Here are some advantages of being toll free:

  • Customers can reach you anywhere for free.
  • You can easily get one.
  • You establish credibility as an organization.

Here are some disadvantages of toll-free numbers:

  • Inbound international callers may incur additional charges.
  • Users potentially have limited talk minutes through your service provider.
  • You may receive a large number of unwanted calls.

vanity phone number

Vanity phone numbers allow you to use the standard three or four letters that can be used in place of phone numbers to help patrons remember your number. Some businesses have built their entire brand name around toll-free numbers, such as 1-800-FLOORS.

For seven-letter businesses like Best Buy, remembering a toll-free number like 1-888-Best-Buy makes the decision of using a vanity number easier. Unfortunately, several personalized options have already been claimed for seven-letter words. However, if you were able to find a unique domain for your business, chances are you would be able to secure a matching vanity phone number. These are some of the advantages of vanity numbers:

  • It's easy to remember.
  • It is an effective branding tool.
  • It increases your credibility.

Here are some disadvantages of a vanity line:

  • Many good ones have already been taken.
  • This is the most expensive option.
  • This is risky for international callers.

How to choose the best phone number for your business

When choosing a phone number for your business, you don't have to settle for just one choice between local, toll-free, and vanity numbers. Before deciding which type of number works best for your company, it's a good idea to choose VoIP or landline. Consider your existing equipment, Internet reliability, ability to scale, and monthly cost. Follow these steps to get a business number:

  1. Decide whether you are going to implement a landline or integrated VoIP phone system.
  2. Find the best phone system based on available features and cost for the number of lines you want to use.
  3. If you are operating a brick-and-mortar store, start with a local number to build your presence and reputation in the community.
  4. Add a toll-free number to your list of available contacts when you're ready to have a national presence and a good amount of inbound calls.
  5. Add a vanity phone number (if you can secure one) that works well with your company name, and you plan to use it for marketing purposes.

TipTip: Still not sure how to choose a business phone system? Read our guide for a detailed analysis of what to look for and how to find what's best for your business.

business phone number frequently asked questions

How do you get a free business phone number?

Google Voice is one of the easiest ways to get a completely free phone number that can be used for calls, text messages, and voicemail through your personal cell phone or computer. This option requires you to have an existing phone number – which means it cannot be used as your sole service provider.

Another route is a toll-free number that will be assigned based on rules established by the Federal Trade Commission — or FCC. All Toll-Free Phone Numbers Customers must choose from called a “Responsible Organization” or “RespOrgs” to reserve a number and manage the appropriate records. RespOrgs has access to a toll-free database used to manage over 42 million toll-free numbers.

When do you need a virtual business phone number?

Virtual phone numbers are ideal if you want to be accessible by phone anytime, anywhere while maintaining the confidentiality of your personal number. If your business doesn't have a permanent address, consider starting with a virtual phone number. Several service providers — including Grasshopper and Google Voice — offer plans with virtual numbers and pricey features starting at around $10 per month.

Will Vanity Numbers Help My Business?

Vanity phone numbers can be a good addition to branding and marketing efforts in voice, print and digital advertising. The potential impact of a vanity number depends on identifying the seven available letters that match your brand name, service category or provide a basic call to action, such as 1-800-GO-FEDEX.

According to phone and communications company Grasshopper, 90% of Americans have contacted a company using a toll-free number after seeing an ad—and 84% of them were able to remember the letters used in vanity phones. . Number.

Guide to Electronic Claims in Medical Billing

  • Electronic claims are any medical claims that you create and submit digitally without any paperwork or stamps.
  • Electronic claims submission can save medical practices invaluable time and money while improving claims quality and tracking.
  • You can submit claims electronically through the self-service or outsourced full-service model.
  • This article is for medical practice owners interested in learning more about electronic claims in medical billing.

Electronic claims are fast becoming the industry standard in medical billing. Surely you've noticed this, and if you're not already submitting most or all of your claims electronically, you may be thinking of making the switch. This guide to electronic claims can help you with the transition. Read on to learn why electronic claims might be right for you and how to get started.

What is an electronic claim?

An electronic claim is any medical claim created completely digitally, without any paper or printing, typically within a medical software solution that includes a medical practice management system. You can create and file them yourself or outsource the process to medical billing services. Our medical billing best selection page can tell you about the best service for your practice needs. Once you're set up with the right service, you can submit your claims electronically to payees instead of sending HCFA forms by post.

TipTip: Looking for a medical software to make electronic claims? Consider our best selections of medical software page for reviews of some of the top solutions on the market.

Benefits of submitting claims electronically

In 2013, the American Medical Association and the Connecticut State Medical Society published a joint paper detailing the benefits of using electronic claims in medical billing. Two health care officials indicated these key benefits of electronic claims:

  • Time Saving: Printing and completing manual forms is a laborious process that cannot be automated. Your medical billing service can compile electronic claims in a fraction of the time through automation processes that reduce errors. It can then submit these error free claims almost instantly. Fewer errors of course mean fewer claim rejections, which can improve your cash flow.
  • Resource Savings: Creating and submitting manual medical claims requires a lot of front-office staff time, not to mention budgeting for postage. None of these terms apply to electronic claims. In fact, research found that switching from manual to electronic billing can result in annual cost savings of up to 60%.

did you know?did you know? Skipping manual processes in favor of electronic claims submission can cut your costs by up to 60%.

  • Scrubbing Claims: Even the most experienced medical billers and coders are bound to miss errors when double-checking claims. After all they are human. Computers and machines are much more precise. Claim scrubbers, which are fully automated, rapidly catch claim errors and flag them for rectification before the payer submits them.
  • Integrated Clearing House: Sending claims through the mail introduces all kinds of potential delivery errors. Your claims may be lost, or you may send them to the wrong address. Instead the integrated clearinghouse that operates the online medical billing process directs your claims exactly where they should go in seconds. As a result, you can submit your claims to payers almost instantly.
  • Claim Tracking: If you send claims by postal mail, you won't know they've reached the insurer unless you pay extra for tracking. Even if you pay for tracking, you will not know the status of your claim after delivery until the payer sends you acceptance, rejection or denial in the mail. With Electronic Claims, you can view the real-time status of your claims every step of the way through a detailed audit trail.
  • Fast Payer Reimbursement: Postal mail may take several days to reach its destination. If you are sending a claim or waiting to be reimbursed by postal mail, the process can add unnecessary delay to the billing cycle. In contrast, electronic claims proceed instantly, and payers can reimburse you the moment your claims are approved. Any delay in the billing cycle will be eliminated.
  • More precise accounts receivable: You are probably well aware that a substantial portion of your practice's potential revenue and cash is held in accounts receivable (AR). You're probably also familiar with the frustrations that come from keeping an accurate track of your accounts receivable. Since electronic claims accelerate the reimbursement process and track all claims, they streamline and improve everything.

How to submit electronic claims

You have two options for submitting electronic claims in medical billing:

1. Self Service Electronic Claims

If you handle the creation and ‘insurance' of your electronic claim, your process is self-service. Your choice of medical billing partner can determine whether your claims process is self-service. For example, since AthenaHealth's revenue cycle management services require that you have a medical biller in-house, your process will be at least partially self-service.

For self-service electronic claims, either a business person like you or, more commonly, your front-office employee will prepare and submit the claim in question. If your practice operates with relatively few payers, the self-service model is often straightforward. In this case, each payer is likely to have specific software that you can use to create and file your claims. If you work with multiple payers things get a little more complicated.

Multiple-payer practices typically turn to integrated clearing houses to reduce their billing complexity, but doing so leaves you with a choice. Do you submit the files you create, or do you enter the data directly into the clearing house? File submission may be a viable option if your practice management software (PMS) can easily compile claims into a single file. Data entry is preferable if you lack PMS or prefer to fill electronic claims yourself.

Of course, file submission and data entry de-automate the electronic claim filing process to some extent. However, they can be significantly less expensive than outsourcing your medical billing altogether. That said, they can get expensive if you add functions for insurance information checks, electronic remittance advice (ERA) statements, and more. Many practices find it reasonable to pay for the full service that comes with outsourced medical billing.

2. Full-Service Electronic Claims

Full-service electronic claims are virtually synonymous with outsourced medical billing. Third-party medical billing companies generally only require basic patient information and a summary of the services you provide to make electronic claims. They can then quickly turn this information into properly formatted and coded claims. Before submitting these claims to payers, the billing service will run them through claim scrubbers to maximize accuracy.

Your medical billing service will monitor everything that happens between your claim being submitted and you being reimbursed. If claims are denied or denied, your medical billing service will ask for resubmission or patient payment. For transparency in the entire process, you can track the real-time progress of your claims through your medical billing company's software. User-friendly options such as Kareo are especially helpful for navigating the mess and mud of a complex process.

Medical billing services result in an extremely practical approach to your electronic claims. For low spread practices, this approach is invaluable — well, until you consider the cost. Most medical billing companies keep a percentage of your practice's monthly collection for their work — typically as low as 2% and as high as 9%.

significant achievementsFYI: Most third-party medical billers charge 2% to 9% of your practice's monthly collection for their services.

You may be concerned that outsourced medical billing may soon become unaffordable. However, a comprehensive view of medical billing can show that outsourcing is worth the cost. Think about the errors that you or your thin-skinned employees often make when rushing through claims. That alone can exceed the cost of outsourced medical billing. The upfront cost of outsourced medical billing services often pays for itself in the long run.